Thursday, January 22, 2009

still skating along at 86!

We know that no matter what our age my be...we can't take good health for granted. Last week, as my seemingly strong and healthy son lay sick in the father drove out from his home 30 miles away to visit his grandson...and I was struck by the irony of it all! It's usually the grandkids who are visiting the grandparents in intensive care units across the country...not the other way around.

My dad is in his eighty-seventh year and still going strong. Don't ever tell him something can't be done...because he'll find a way to do it! I grew up in a household where there was nothing beyond repair...with a dad who could fix anything and everything. We never needed a repairman, a mechanic, a welder, a plumber, or even an upholsterer...they were all in-house. Since his retirement more than twenty years ago...he has kept busy doing things he loved. For the first dozen years he restored old cars...not just any old cars...but vintage Fords were his passion. He did everything himself...including the painting and upholstery. One of his 'projects' (a 1947 Monarch) now sits in our garage...going for a Sunday drive on occasion. These last few years he has tried his hand at woodworking...

...making wonderful treasures for us...his children and grandchildren.

When he retired from farming, he kept an old TD6 bulldozer...which stayed on our farm but was technically his. We used it occasionally...but that resulted in the firetrucks showing up in full force more than once. It sent clouds of blue smoke billowing into the sky...and well-intentioned passersby alerted the fire department. It had been parked for the last few years...and last summer dad decided that he would fix it up to sell. Not only did he solve the smoke problem...he spiffed it up quite nicely. Once it was ready for sale...Jeremy decided that we really should buy it, since it was Grandpa's should stay on the farm, where it belongs!

At age 86 he restored this bulldozer...that is quite a feat. But did someone tell him that you don't go ice-skating at that age? It seems they must have...because he decided to prove them wrong. I'm thinking his ice-skating adventure may have been more of a snow-plow experience, judging by the blanket of snow on the ice-rink. We do know, however,that he donned the skates and gave it a whirl...because someone sent me the photo to prove it.

He's always up for a challenge...and I like that about him!

We're planning a family cruise in a few months time...Dad and all us kids...and some of the grandkids. Ten years ago he took us on a this time we are taking him. It's a great way to have a family reunion...without any of us doing the cooking! We never know what tomorrow may let's make memories while we can.

Have a wonderful day...


  1. Judy. . .wow that is amazing. I love his zest for life .. what a good example to us YOUNG people...

    What a great reason to take a cruise too. . .you'll have a ball.

  2. What a great post to read first thing in the morning!
    Your dad is an example of the best of his generation. The can-do attitude, the zest for adventure and willingness to challenge himself.
    The family cruise sounds like a terrific idea - one I'd like to borrow some day as it really is the most relaxing kind of holiday. I'll look forward to that travelogue!

  3. Wow, what a man! I'm sure it's his interest in many things that keeps him healthy. What a positive post, Judy. Dairymary

  4. What an interesing and wonderful tribute to your dad! What a blessing it is for you to have had his influence in your life all along and even today! He looks like he stays fit, active in mind, spirit and body...enjoying not only his grandkids, but his great-grandchildren. wow!

  5. If someone else can do it, so can I! and hopefully better! Even in his 30's, he had projects in mind for his retirement. I'm glad Dad's having so many years to do them! Thanks, Jude!

  6. Those are very precious memories of your dad. He is truly amazing.

    Do the cruise and have a blast. What good times to be had for all.

    So glad your son is home and on his way to complete recovery.

  7. Great way to honor your Father, Judy.
    It's always interesting to see the legacy that they have passed on to the next generataion.
    Cruising? sounds so good.

  8. Such a neat post Judy..that is some Dad you have! It's great that he can join you for a family cruise. Hope he enjoys many more years of good helath..

  9. Amazing & wonderful! We have to thank you again for all your wonderful comments...and how much your poem meant to us! We are so glad you shared it...and your timing was perfect! Just catching up on our blogging...stopping by to say hello!
    kari & kijsa

  10. Your Dad is amazing. How wonderful that he channeled his time and talents into such beautifully done and lasting projects. They'll be a treasured reminder of him long after he goes Home.

  11. What a loving tribute to your Father! I especially loved his woodworking projects--although that bulldozer is really impressive as well. We have a widow-woman who lives a few doors down who roller skated the entire 5-mile route of the last 4th of July parade. That group truly deserves the title "The Greatest Generation".
    Your post also made me laugh recalling that Red Green Show and his line "....let the women find you handy".
    Your family cruise sounds lovely! Hope you have a wonderful time!

  12. aw, Grandpa! Mom told me he was thinking of going ice skating, and that he had bought skates and everything! Hahaha, I hope I am like grandpa at 87, he's the best!

  13. This is so have a hero living among you!

  14. Your dad is so inspirational.I think it's so great that he is so active. Wow! You are so blessed to have him. His woodworking is great. I pray the Lord will give me lots of years and that I'll be active too. Of course, I can't ice skate now, but you know what I mean. :D

  15. What an amazing example to all of us 'younger'!! people.
    That willingness to have a go, rather than sit back, is part of a generation that was used to getting on with things.
    Your cruise sounds just what you need!

  16. What a wonderful tribute to your Dad! He certainly has the right spirit and has been blessed with good health --God bless him! His woodwork is beautiful!

    My Mom will be 87 this year and is very active and independent too. She still walks miles every day as she never learned to drive and won't accept a ride from anyone if she can walk.

    They are both wonderful examples of aging well.


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson